When watching the original Star Wars trilogy, it's painfully clear that the Rebellion was a major sausage fest. Aside from Leia Organa, Mon Mothma in Return of the Jedi and one or two nameless operatives, the resistance against the Empire was largely comprised of men, at least on screen. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is helping rectify that a little bit by featuring new protagonist Jyn Erso front and center, but actress Felicity Jones wants the audience to know that women are just as key to the Rebellion, even if many of them serve in different capacities.
Addressing the uneven ratio of men to women in the Rebellion, Jones told EW that there are a lot of women in the Rebellion serving in leadership positions, including Mon Mothma, who Jyn looks up to. The actress explained:
I would say there's a huge amount of respect for women in the Rebellion. Mon Mothma is ultimately, for Jyn, someone she looks up to. So even as the film opens [Jyn] has a very strong female role model in front of her, and someone she respects.
Because the Star Wars movies can't all the events of the Galactic Civil Civil War, obviously there are plenty of women who we'll never meet that are contributing to the fight against the Empire, whether it's overseeing a mission or shooting a blaster out in the field. The novels, comic books and video games have introduced to some of them, but nevertheless, the Star Wars franchise could benefit from seeing some ladies in action. Fortunately, it's good to hear from Felicity Jones that like in the real world, the Star Wars universe is including women of power in its narrative through politics and other areas, and considering how Mon Mothma was instrumental in organizing the Rebellion after Revenge of the Sith, Jyn Erso couldn't have picked a better role model.
Rogue One's Jyn Erso is the latest step to introducing more important female characters in a galaxy far, far away. Last year in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, aside from Carrie Fisher reprising Leia Organa (now a general), Daisy Ridley's Rey was introduced, and much like Luke Skywalker decades ago in the original movies, she's now the main face of the sequel trilogy. There was also the wise Maz Kanata, Resistance pilot Jess Pava and even The First Order got some lady power through the intimidating Captain Phasma (though she didn't get to do much). Next year will see the introduction of Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran's still-unnamed characters in Star Wars: Episode VIII, and the Han Solo movie is reportedly casting a female lead as we speak. As for Rogue One, that movie will see Jyn Erso and her fellow Rebels being sent by Mon Mothma and the rest of the Rebellion leadership to steal the plans to the Death Star.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released in theaters on December 16.